Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by RossC, May 8, 2003.
Anyone have experience of using this piece of kit? Views appreciated!
Not yet, you're not the only one looking at it.
I don't know where you live, but there is one at www.signals.demon.co.uk on demo.
As I was looking at other stuff it didn't get fired up. So didn't hear it going.
However, here's my first impressions.
Bloody heavy. Excellent finish and build. Shorter than I'd imagined. Nice remote control. Good rack presence. For £2K, it's certainly worth putting on your shortlist.
It exudes a high quality feel. You have a great confidence in it, solely by looking at it.
Have demoed it against a more expensive (2K vs 3K) Cyrus set up and it holds its own, different sound, drier, less rich musically, but more revelaing on video.
However...I'm not so sure the quality is aas good as it first looks. The first unit locked solid 3 minutes into the demo and ouldn't be brought back to life...one wk later unit two is taken out of the box and is missing a button from the facia.
Bad omens or bad luck? Shame as it's a great looking unit (important) with just the right level of features. Still considering it. But wonder if it's a little overpriced having now listened to a Harman Kardon AVR5550 over the weekend, which for £800 is pretty good. Sure back to back I'd hear the difference, but in isolation at hlaf the price, well worth considering (as I'm sure other similar priced amps might be).
Why not go for as pre/power split?
I'm about to test an ex dem power amp from Primare at a very reasonable price indeed. Hopefully today, and hook it up for a home dem.
Ironically, I have a HK 5500 (not 5550). Good that it is, I need power.
I'm quite suprised by the faulty units you encountered. Not what I'd expect.
Want to keep the box count/size (and price) down so Primare pre-power is out. Really wanted to go V25 + SPA20, but the V25(for me) let the show down. Also don't play at louder volumes so relative lack of power in HK not an issue. The styling on the other hand might well be...
I have KEF Ref 2 speakers. They absolutely need power to make them sound better. At the moment they are flat sounding.
We don't go too loud either.
As it now happens, I have an SPA 20 at home on dem to try out its proc part. I know there are differences to the stand alone proc.
However, if it's as good as I hope, I'll be getting a top notch proc with nearly all the performance of the separate one with an extra 5 channels of amps to allow biamping of my front 3 speakers, and!!! the ability to drive a full 7.1 set up. If it works out, bargain.
I'll get good sound, processing, plenty of power, convenience, cosmetics, full surround sound etc etc etc.
Fingers crossed and all that.
Post an update when you've had it a few days Guy and let us know what you think....
Notice you've got a IRIQ remote - still happy with it?
Yes. The IRIQ is idiot proof. Suits me to the ground. Had a Pronto which I didn't get on with at all. Normally don't havea problem with software, but that.................... drove me mad.
Ok. Had it a week now. Taking it back this morning. Don't really want to. So that must be a good sign.
SPA20 good points-
Used as a processor it is quite good.
Full, open sound. Quite smooth and full. Very clear.
Just enough audio/video inputs.
Easy to use once set up. Your mum could turn it on, select say CD and press play. That's it. The display is simplicity itself with source and volume shown.
100% customizable. I had Sky input 1 analogue. DVD input 2 digital and CD input 3 on the direct bypass from the dvd player.
Other selections can be disabled so only the 3 I 'made' could be scrolled through. You can have up to 15 options/sources.
All automatic once set up. Fit and forget basically.
Bass cut off from 40Hz - 120Hz I think it was. Full set up menus. Very easy.
No operational 'weird' bits that I could see.
A joy to use overall.
SPA20 bad points-
Maybe not enough audio/video inputs for some. Especially if you have a full 7.1 set up as two of the analogue outputs/inputs (?) are used for that set up.
Maybe it could be said it wasn't as 'exciting' for films as say a Tag, maybe.
The remote is a bit naff. Cheap plastic. Considering how nice the rest of it is, that definately could be a lot better.
The display may be 'too' simple for some. (Fine for me though).
'Apparantely' it doesn't! have the same gain as their power amps, so biamping speakers with it is not really an option.
(I didn't test its amps as it was being used as a proc throughout.)
To sum up. I'd buy this amp. It's not your usual integrated amp ie, Yamaha, Denon etc for £2K. But the sound certainly would put them to shame imho. It's not as feature filled, read sockets etc as them, but it definately holds its own and then some.
The wife loved it. I'll be trying out their proc to see how much better it is, which it really is supposed to be. Then we'll decide.
This thing from what I have gathered has say 80% of the proc, 80% of the power amp in one box. A bloody good combination that has our attention. If I buy it, I'll use it with my power amp to drive a 7.1 set up, and a 2nd lot of speakers in another room.
Since sending it back today, I've been using my Densen Beat 100 stereo amp to drive my Kef Ref 2s.
It really did give a good sound paired with the power amp on music. Miss it already. The Densen is an excellent amp in its own right, but the Primare........................aaaaahhhh.
It's close. What to do with the Densen 'when' we buy a proc or the SPA20?????
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